World Cup Odds promise to be SurprisingThe June 11, 2010, By SportTopNews
All bets are off for this one. This World Cup, football’s quadrennial extravaganza has never been held in Africa, and not below the equator since 1978, when Argentina won on its own turf.;
In South Africa, the Cup is being held in wintertime, with half the venues nearly a mile high. It seems that almost anyone can win this year, even the Americans, who led Brazil by to goals midway through last year’s Confederation Cup final in Johannesburg before finally being defeated.
Of the defeat, captain Carlos Bocanegra said “We showed we belong. ’’ Although other teams had already left the Americans for dead after the crushing defeatin the preliminaries, Bocanegra feels confident that this World cup will be different. “We’re not just going to be a pushover in the World Cup when we come down here.’’ Only time and goals will tell if there is any merit to this confidence.
The Bradley Bunch, which meets England in Rustenberg in it’s Sturday opener are 80-1 to win the Cup, longer shots than a dozen of the 32 countries in the eight-group field. The Americans have never come this cloes to winning the World cup, and have gone three and out in three of the last five tournaments, including the last one in 2006 where they were beaten by newcomer Ghana after drawing with the eventual winner, Italy.
However, the last time the month long event was held in a faraway continent in 2002 the United States made it to the quarterfinals, astonishing Portugal and defeating Mexico, before being eventually beaten by Germany. Soccer analysts dismissed this whole tournament, stating that it was a wrong side of the dateline outlier.
The fact is, Europeans have never won the World cup when it was held outside their continent, and they do not have a sure winner this time, either. Spain, which entered the European community two years ago was shut out by the Americans after being unbeaten in 35 matches, and has never made it to a final. Italy is growing old in key positions. France has long said goodbye to its superstars. Portugal, even with Wizard Cristiano Ronaldo had to work hard to get even to fourth place in the last Cup.
However, the most solid contender for the Cup is, as always, Brazil. Five time winners, Pele’s countryman have shown an ability to adapt to any circumstance on four continents: Sweden, Chile, Mexico, United States and Japan.